Robert Edward Lee, Gentleman [UPDATED]
Fresh off his series paying tribute to Lincoln, Don McClarey shifts his focus to the man whose military genius, tenaciousness, and ability to command the loyalty of his men very nearly deprived Lincoln of his military objective of maintaining the Union by force of arms: General Robert Edward Lee.
But his military feats are only part of what made General Lee a great man in the eyes of his countrymen. What made him great (and beloved) was his embodiment of all that was noble about the South - personifying all of its virtues (hearing the word "genteel" immediately evokes in my mind's eye a portrait of Robert E. Lee), while devoid of most of its vices (having even been opposed both to secession and slavery and having freed his slaves years prior to the great conflagration that engulfed North and South in bloodshed).
Maybe less so today, but certainly in years past, any Southern man seeking to live a virtuous life sought to emulate 2 men: Our Lord Jesus Christ ... and the gentleman known as Robert Edward Lee.
Of particular note to Pro Ecclesia readers may be the fact that General Lee was descended from the patron of this blog ... St. Thomas More, and from Robert Stewart - King Robert II of Scotland.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Which Civil War [sic] General Are You?
A Portrait of General Lee in His Daughter's Letters